Keeper of the Lost Cities: Nightfall by Shannon Messenger

Sophie Foster is an elf, a powerful girl who lives in a glittering world full mythical creatures, fantastical places, and elves with every superpower-like ability under the sun.  

But with so much going on, Sophie can never seem to figure out what the Neverseen, the evil group of rebels, will hit them with next.  After Sophie’s human parents are kidnapped by the Neverseen, Sophie finds her sister Amy in her human home and takes her to the Lost Cities to keep her safe.  Keefe and Sophie travel to Ravagog, the home of the ogres, to try to form an alliance with the ruler of the ogres, King Dimitar. Through it all, Sophie and her friends are trying to figure out what Keefe’s mom means when she talks about his legacy and how it is connected to Nightfall, a mysterious place where they must go to discover the elves’ true past with humans.

I love this book and this series so much. Next to Harry Potter it’s definitely one of my favorite series of books. I recommend reading this book and the rest in this awesome series!

-Kaitlyn S.

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.

Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Splintered Heart is the exciting third installment of the Serafina series, with Serafina and the Black Cloak and Serafina and the Twisted Staff being the first two. 

Serafina wakes up to a drastically different world from the one she remembers. An old enemy becomes a new ally, while other foes become more deadly.   If Serafina doesn’t expel the evil force that is seething with rage from past battles, all of Biltmore, (the enormous estate within the Blue Ridge Mountains) and its inhabitants, will be destroyed.  Serafina must band together with her friends, old and new, to put an end to the enemy who cannot be killed before he puts an end to everything they love.

I loved this book and I wish it wasn’t the last in this series. All the books are so unique compared to the typical books you see today. The way the author describes the setting of majestic Asheville, North Carolina, makes you feel like you’re really there. This is an amazing book topping off a great trilogy and I definitely recommend it!

-Kaitlyn S.

Serafina and the Splintered Heart by Robert Beatty is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, the boy who could fly and never grew up. But do you know how Peter Pan came to be?

Peter and the Starcatchers is the prequel and background of Peter Pan.  It begins one morning in England where two ships are being loaded on the same dock with very different cargo to journey to the remote island of Rundoon. The first ship, a top-of-the-line frigate called the Wasp, is to be loaded with the most precious and powerful treasure on Earth, by orders of Lord Leonard Aster on the authority of the Queen. Then there’s the other ship, the Neverland, a slow, busted-up old ship that will hold an identical trunk full of sand, Molly Aster (Leonard Aster’s thirteen-year old-daughter), and a bunch of orphans that are going to be sold to King Zarboff.  But, at the last second, Captain Slank, captain of the Neverland, switches the trunks so his ship has the treasure.

That treasure is starstuff, and the Asters are Starcatchers, people who try to keep starstuff away from evil people who would use it to do wrong. Peter is one of the orphans on that ship, and when he finds out about the starstuff that shouldn’t be on the Neverland but is, he and Molly become friends and work together to protect the starstuff.  But after a violent storm that shipwrecks everyone on an island occupied by the Mollusk people, will they be able to keep away the starstuff from sailors, pirates, and the Mollusks, and get back home to England in the end?

I decided to read this book because it’s the play I’m a part of at my high school and I thought it would be fun to read again.  This book gives so much depth and background to Peter Pan’s story and it’s a great fantasy adventure book. I’d recommend this to those who love the story of Peter Pan and want to know more!

-Kaitlyn S.

The Peter and the Starcatchers series by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Magnus Chase didn’t plan on dying while fighting an evil fire giant on the morning of his sixteenth birthday, but unfortunately that’s what happened.

Magnus has been homeless in the city of Boston after the strange, awful death of his mother. When his Uncle Randolph seeks him out and tells him all about his Norse father and a sword only Magnus can retrieve, Magnus doesn’t know what to think. Before he can even process what’s happened, Magnus dies trying to take out Surt, the fire giant, so he doesn’t kill all the people of Boston.

Samirah Al-Abbas, a Valkyrie, was watching Magnus as he perished, and because he died an honorable death, she brought him to Valhalla, an alternative afterlife for those who bravely died doing something righteous.

At Valhalla, the Norns themselves come to determine Magnus’s fate, which isn’t a good sign. They give Magnus a prophecy that says he must find the Sword of Summer, which he was separated from when he died, so he can stop Surt from hastening Ragnarok, the Doomsday where he will burn the Nine Worlds.  If Magnus succeeds, Ragnorok could be postponed for a considerable amount of time. If he fails, Doomsday could happen the following week. Will Magnus prevail? You must read on to find out!

This was another great book from Rick Riordan that I really enjoyed reading. I didn’t know much about Norse mythology before I read this book, so it was cool and fun learning about all the new gods and myths. This book is funny, interesting, and I definitely recommend it!

-Kaitlyn S.

The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Slacker by Gordan Korman

Cameron Boxer’s life revolves around playing endless amounts of video games in his basement training for the infamous Rule the World gaming competition with his best friends, like any good slackers should.  However, Cam’s perfect ‘lifestyle’ lands him in hot water when he forgets to take the ziti out of his oven and nearly burns his house down.

To appease his parents and convince them he’s doing something else with his life besides video games, Cam starts a fake school club called the Positive Action Group, or the P.A.G., with the help of his best friends, Chuck and Pavel.  Everything’s going great and no one suspects a thing till the school guidance counselor and a bunch of kids who actually care get involved with the phony club.

Suddenly, everyone in school is a part of the P.A.G. and the only person who seems to not care about it is the founder himself, Cam Boxer. But when the P.A.G. gets shut down due to a series of suspicous events involving good deeds turned bad and the Friends of Fuzzy high school club, can Cam turn things around, win the Rule the World competition, and find a home for Elvis the beaver in the midst of it all?

I really enjoyed this book; it was funny with a good plot and relatable characters.  It was written from multiple characters’ point of views which I always find interesting.  I recommend this book if you have read and liked any of Gordon Korman’s other funny books!

-Kaitlyn S.

Gordon Korman’s Slacker is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library

Wings by E.D. Baker

Tamisin Warner was always a bit different from everyone else. She had sparkly freckles that she called spreckles, pointy ears, and always danced outside when the moon was full.  Ever since one fateful Halloween, she had been able to see strange human animal hybrids no one else could.  Jak, a new boy at Tamisin’s high school, seems to realize Tamisin is different and knows more about her than he lets on.

However, when actual fairy wings emerge from her back, Tamisin sets out to find the answers to who she truly is with Jak by her side.  Tamisin encounters many mysterious, magical creatures and strange new places during her journey and isn’t prepared for what the answers to her questions hold…

I enjoyed this book very much because it was set in present day but was still mysterious, magical, and whimsical all at once.  It’s interesting to read from both Tamisin and Jak’s point of views as you get to learn about both characters’ background stories and their seemingly separate worlds that are actually intertwined.  This is another great book that is reminiscent of a fairy tale by E.D. Baker!

-Kaitlyn S.

Demigods and Magicians by Rick Riordan

This is another amazing book by Rick Riordan!  Rick Riordan writes about many different mythologies such as Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian. This books features Percy and Annabeth, a couple who are involved with Greek mythology and Sadie and Carter Kane, siblings who are involved in Egyptian mythology.  This isn’t a conventional book in that it is composed of three short stories and a sneak peek of one of his books about Norse mythology, The Hidden Oracle. 

The first story is about Percy and Carter meeting and their unusual fight against an enormous petsuchos, the gigantic crocodile son of the Egyptian crocodile god Sobek. The boys fought and were confused when they first meet as they figured out that more than just one mythology was real. They defeated the monster but felt as though they’d opened a door that wouldn’t be closed.

In the second story, Annabeth meets Sadie and they join forces to stop the past, present, and future from joining together so the Egyptian god of the Underworld, Serapis, can rise.  Annabeth eliminates the god’s future so he can’t exist anymore.  The girls exchange cell phone numbers and agree to contact each other only in emergencies.

In the third story, Percy, Annabeth, Carter, and Sadie all fight a long battle against Setne, an Egyptian magician who came back from the dead to try to mix Greek and Egyptian powers to try to turn himself into a god. After the four defeat him, they decide to keep everything to themselves and stay in contact.

I loved reading the sneak peek because it interested me enough to go check out the full book, which I loved.  There are more books in the series and it’s a great read.

All in all I enjoyed this book a lot.  It answers those questions you sometimes think about, like ‘what would happen if the characters in my two favorite book series met?’  I definitely recommend this book; although it helps to read the series about Percy and Annabeth and the series about Sadie and Carter beforehand because they help you understand the characters and their story.

– Kaitlyn S.

Demigods & Magicians by Rick Riordan is available at the Mission Viejo Library